Canadian Export Values to Increase In 2015

By:  IMA Staff

According to Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) Magazine, not only are Canada and the US top global investment partners, they also share the ‘largest bilateral trade relationship’ in the world.  Even with existing US Protectionist trade barriers, CME reports the US account for 74% of Canada’s exports.  Due to a recovering US economy, CME says Export Development Canada (EDC) is forecasting a 12% growth in value from Canada’s 2013 Export Value of $334.7 billion by 2015.

International Market Access, Inc.’s CEO, Jim Pettinger, suggests a weak ‘Loonie’ is another driving factor in increased Canadian, specifically British Columbian, company exports to the US.  “Although most U.S. markets will usually support premium pricing anyway,” says Pettinger, “the weak Loonie is adding at least another 10% to the bottom line.”

Are you interested in doing business in the USA?  International Market Access, Inc. is a reliable partner with over 30 years of cross border trade experience.  Learn more at UCanTrade.com or call 360.380.6900.

Peace Arch

Trade Tips Blog is published by International Market Access, Inc.

International Market Access, Inc.
“USA Business Services for Canadian Importers/Exporters”
(Freight Management, Warehousing, Fulfillment, Returns/Repairs)
Website: www.UCanTrade.com
Phone: 360-380-6900
Email: ima@UCanTrade.com


Source: Weak ‘Loonie’ drives interest in US sales by BC Companies
Source: CME’s 20/20 Nov-Dec 2014 article, “Penetrating US trade barriers remains challenging for Canadian exporters.”

Six Eyes On Every Box

By: IMA Staff

Technology is great. We love technology. But relying on machines alone without human verification can cause things to go haywire.

That’s why at IMA, every shipment is triple checked before it leaves our warehouse not once, not twice, but three times.

In the warehousing and logistics industry, a 1-2% error rate is considered standard. Sending 1 or 2 of every 100 packages to the wrong address is “business as usual” in many operations.

That’s not good enough for our clients, and it’s not good enough for us. So, we triple-check everything before it ships.

Our staff are some of the most experienced in the industry, and not one, not two, but three of our warehouse professionals view, verify, and sign off on every box before it leaves our warehouse.

The result? An accuracy rate of over 99.8%.

Reverse Logistics, Shipping, Handling, Warehousing

Experienced staff. Triple-checked shipments. Six eyes on every box.

If you need a trusted logistics partner to handle your USA warehousing and ‘pick & pack’ shipping needs with accuracy and attention to detail, Call us at 360-380-6900.

Trade Tips Blog is published by International Market Access, Inc.

International Market Access, Inc.
“USA Business Services for Canadian Importers/Exporters”
(Freight Management, Warehousing, Fulfillment, Returns/Repairs)
Website: www.UCanTrade.com
Phone: 360-380-6900
Email: ima@UCanTrade.com


US Carriers Shipping On ‘Black Friday’

By: Jim Pettinger

Americans are known worldwide as hard workers who take little time off for holidays and vacations compared to others. However, Thanksgiving is a major exception. The holiday itself is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November, but the preceding week and following weekend are probably more festive and family-oriented for Americans than is Christmas week in other countries. In addition, the growing traditions of “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday” only increase the frenzy around the holiday.

Canadian shoppers and businesses that export should take note: First, border lineups will be longer than any other time of year; check wait times before you go at the link on our website at www.UCanTrade.com.  And second, most non-retail businesses are closed on Thursday, November 27th with limited hours on Friday.  Consequently, make sure all your U.S. orders are filled and shipped early this week.Thanksgiving, US Holiday, Cross-Border

NEW this year, all U.S. carriers are offering full services for all shipments on ‘Black’ Friday, November 28th!  This comes in response to a significant increase in e-commerce orders which resulted in some late Christmas deliveries last year.

The good news is that, like last year, American internet shoppers will be on their computers for many more hours than usual. In fact, many internet retailers now recognize “Cyber Monday” as a great day to hold major discount sales similar to what their brick and mortar counterparts offer on “Black Friday”.

Happy Thanksgiving to all.

Trade Tips Blog is published by International Market Access, Inc.

International Market Access, Inc.
“USA Business Services for Canadian Importers/Exporters”
(Freight Management, Warehousing, Fulfillment, Returns/Repairs)
Website: www.UCanTrade.com
Phone: 360-380-6900
Email: ima@UCanTrade.com

The Poppy – ‘Flanders Fields’ From A Different Perspective

By: IMA Staff

Derived from a simple, yet profound poem titled “In Flanders Fields,” written by Canadian Lt. Col. John McCrae in the spring of 1915, the poppy has become an iconic symbol used to honor our veterans on Remembrance Day.

“In Flanders Fields” is a ‘lasting legacy’ to the horrendous 17 day battle of Ypres in the spring of 1915 and to war in general, where, as a soldier and a surgeon, he treated an international assembly of battered and devastatingly damaged soldiers.  McCrae later described the ordeal as “seventeen days of Hades!”

On the eighteenth day, following the burial of a dear friend, Colonel McCrae wrote his iconic poem while sitting on the back of an ambulance.  He was in the company of a young NCO who watched him write while waiting to deliver his mail.  Upon completion the Colonel silently handed young Sergeant-major, Cyril Allinson his notepad, took his mail and left.

“The poem was exactly an exact description of the scene in front of us both. He used the word blow in that line because the poppies actually were being blown that morning by a gentle east wind. It never occurred to me at that time that it would ever be published. It seemed to me just an exact description of the scene.” – Cyril Allinson

The Poem:

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

McCrae in fact threw out his poem, dissatisfied.  However, a fellow officer ‘retrieved it’ and submitted it to a London paper who later published it on 8 December 1915.

Trade Tips Blog is published by International Market Access, Inc.
International Market Access, Inc.
“USA Business Services for Canadian Importers/Exporters”
(Freight Management, Warehousing, Fulfillment, Returns/Repairs)
Website: www.UCanTrade.com
Phone: 360-380-6900
Email: ima@UCanTrade.com


(Source: Canada in World War 1 – Canadian Great War Project Copyright © 2004-2013 Marc Leroux)

UPS Prepares for Record High Holiday Demand

By: IMA Staff

“UPS expects six days during the [upcoming holiday] season, to surpass its single-busiest shipping day last year,” reports Michael Sasso in his October 29, 2014 Bloomberg post.

Spending $175 million on their “peak-season preparedness plan”, UPS plans to hire as many as 95,000 temporary workers and assemble up to 15 “mobile delivery stations” (similar to school portables) over this holiday season. The plan was initiated immediately following last year’s holiday season when, due to bad weather, UPS failed to deliver some of its Christmas deliveries, reported Sasso.

UPS’ Chief Commercial Officer Alan Gershenhorn reportedly said in a statement, “The holiday season is a major retail sales opportunity for our customers. Our objective is to ensure that all of our year-round business and retail shippers can take maximum advantage of expanded UPS capacity during this important period.”

As online orders increase, “the world’s largest package delivery company” forecast an 11% increase in the number of packages it will be delivering this holiday season over last year.

Anticipating increased orders due to holiday demand? Doing business in the USA? International Market Access, Inc. is a reliable partner. From the seaport of your choice to your customer’s doorstep, we manage container receiving, warehousing, and pick & pack shipping. Please give us a call at 1-360-380-6900 or visit our website at www.UCanTrade.com.

Trade Tips Blog is published by International Market Access, Inc.

International Market Access, Inc.
“USA Business Services for Canadian Importers/Exporters”
(Freight Management, Warehousing, Fulfillment, Returns/Repairs)
Website:
www.UCanTrade.com
Phone:
360-380-6900
Email:
ima@UCanTrade.com


Need help receiving a containerized shipment from abroad? We can do that.

By: Elliott Smith

Seattle Tacoma Vancouver Container Shipment Processing

IMA receives and processes container shipments for Canadian and USA-based clients. We handle and process shipments from the Port of Seattle, Port of Tacoma or Port of Vancouver BC.

Which port is right for you? “It’s really a case by case basis” says IMA’s Operations Manager Terry Dickey. “We work with our client to find the most cost-effective option, whether that’s the Port of Seattle, Port of Vancouver, or another option.” Dickey added

IMA works with one of our trusted trucking partners to have your container delivered from its arrival port to our Ferndale, Washington facility, conveniently located just 20 minutes from the border on Interstate 5.

Seattle Vancouver Container Shipment ProcessingFrom there, IMA’s crew of experienced logistics staff will receive, process, and warehouse your shipment and await orders from your customers. When your order is received, IMA’s expert staff will promptly pick, pack and ship to your customer via UPS. And we do it with one of the highest accuracy rates in the industry.

More and more companies are taking advantage of low-cost manufacturing off-shore. But getting a container of goods from the port and translating that into individual orders for your retail or e-commerce customers can be a challenge.

Port of Seattle Container Shipment ProcessingIMA provides the missing link to solve that challenge. From the seaport of your choice, to your retail customer’s doormat, IMA makes international manufacturing and USA distribution a snap.

If you have goods being manufactured overseas, and need a reliable partner to manage container receiving, warehousing, and pick & pack shipping, give us a call at 1-360-380-6900

Trade Tips Blog is published by International Market Access, Inc

International Market Access, Inc.
USA Business Identity, Warehousing and Fulfillment Services
Phone: 360-380-6900
Email: imawa@ucantrade.com


Whatcom Unified Emergency Coordination Center opens in former IMA Warehouse Space

By: Elliott Smith

A building formerly occupied by International Market Access, Inc. (IMA) in Bellingham has found a new purpose: public safety. The Whatcom Unified Emergency Coordination Center (WUECC) was dedicated on July 18, 2014 with a ribbon cutting ceremony.

Warehouse

The Building that now houses the WUECC was home to IMA From 1997 to 2009.

The building, located adjacent to Bellingham International Airport at 3888 Sound Way is owned by the Port of Bellingham, and was occupied by International Market Access, Inc. from 1997 to 2009.

In 2009, IMA moved to 1465 Slater Road in Ferndale, giving our clients convenient access to Interstate 5. At that time, the Sound Way building was retrofitted by the US Department of Homeland Security for use as a federal, state and local coordination center for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, BC. The Center was closed in 2011, following the conclusion of the Winter Games.

Whatcom County Sheriff Bill Elfo reached out to the BP Cherry Point Refinery to discuss establishing a new coordination center in the building. Multiple government agencies, including the City of Bellingham, Whatcom County and the Port of Bellingham formed a partnership to open a new Emergency Coordination Center.

BP donated equipment and furnishings that had been used during the company’s spill response on the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, when BP employees from around the country were sent to the Gulf to assist with the cleanup. Furnishings and equipment used in that effort will now go on to have a further useful life at the WUECC thanks to BP. In addition to BP’s support, neighboring refinery operator Phillips 66 donated $50,000 towards infrastructure enhancements at the WUECC.

Emergency Management

Officials cut the ribbon to officially open the WUECC on July 18, 2014. Photo courtesy Bellingham Police Dept.

The WUECC facility now serves as an Emergency Coordination Center. The space includes a large operations room, a communications/radio room, five meeting rooms, and two large multipurpose areas. The size of the facility provides adequate space for 300+ federal, tribal, state, local, private sector and volunteer response personnel. When not activated for a disaster, the facility provides space for meetings, trainings and exercises

More information about the Whatcom Unified Emergency Coordination Center is available on their website.

 

Trade Tips Blog is published by International Market Access, Inc.

International Market Access, Inc.
USA Business Identity, Warehousing and Fulfillment Services
Phone: 360-380-6900
Email: imawa@ucantrade.com


Comment: “Crowdfunding” is gaining traction for start-ups and new projects

By: Jim Pettinger

Thousands of entrepreneurs and others are jumping on the “crowdfunding” bandwagon unleashed by the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act, signed into law by President Obama in April 2012. Quite simply, it allows individuals and small companies to raise venture funds via the internet without the burden of typical fundraising compliance issues.

Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding websites like Kickstarter.com give entrepreneurs the ability to harness the power of the internet for financial backing.

A great example of a typical project is currently listed on trendsetting website Kickstarter.com. (Disclaimer: this company is one of our clients.)

Although a very recent phenomenon, a good overview can be found in these articles in the following popular business magazine websites (click each to access): Forbes, Fox News and Entrepreneur.

Crowdfunding is clearly here to stay, but a little caution mixed with careful planning is always a good idea.

Trade Tips Blog is published by International Market Access, Inc.

International Market Access, Inc.
USA Business Identity, Warehousing and Fulfillment Services
Phone: 360-380-6900
Email: imawa@ucantrade.com

 

Expanded Bellingham International Airport Keeps Costs Low, Welcomes Canadian Travelers

By: Elliott Smith

Overview

2013 was a busy year at Bellingham International Airport (BLI), with 600,000 passengers boarding airplanes. Terminal expansion work recently concluded by the Port of Bellingham has boosted the airport’s capacity to about 800,000 enplanements per year. An enplanment is defined as a person boarding a flight; total annual passenger volume (arrivals and departures) is double that, or 1.2 million in 2013. With a new capacity of 800,000 annual enplanments, Port officials estimate BLI is now prepared to accommodate up to 10 years of growth.

Keeping Costs Low

One thing that was not included in recent expansion work: jet bridges. Larger airports like Seattle-Tacoma International (SeaTac) and Vancouver International (YVR) use elevated terminal buildings and have passengers board aircraft via mobile jet bridges. Those were not included in renovations at BLI and there is no plan to include them in the near future. The reason is cost. Daniel Zenk with the Port of Bellingham explained that jet bridges cost $1 Million dollars to build, and nearly $250,000 per year to maintain.

“We are a low-cost airport for low-cost airlines” Zenk said. For the foreseeable future, passengers will continue to board airplanes at Bellingham International Airport by walking out on the airfield at ground level, and entering the aircraft via mobile ramps. The mobile ramps can accommodate wheelchair passengers, or those needing assistance.

Airport boarding ramp

Bellingham International Airport uses mobile ramps for aircraft boarding. The ramps give all passengers, including wheelchair passengers, boarding access while avoiding the multi-million dollar cost of jet bridges.

 

Airport management at BLI is committed to controlling costs, to keep airlines bringing passengers to the area. “Airlines bring in your customers” Zenk explained, so the airport is dedicated to keeping operating costs low to ensure airlines can continue to operate profitably from Bellingham. One example of this: no overnight aircraft parking fees. Unlike many larger airports, airlines do not pay a fee to park their aircraft overnight at the terminal. Zenk explained that management’s goal is to support the airport by using non-aviation revenue, such as vehicle parking fees.

Baggage & Terminal Expansion

Highlights of recent expansion work include the addition of a modern baggage carousel, addition of an extra boarding gate, and the expansion of the Scotty Brown’s restaurant in the gate area. The expanded boarding area can now accommodate 850 people. The modern baggage system can handle luggage from a Boeing 757, a Boeing 737 and a Bombardier Q-400 all at the same time.

 

Baggage Claim

The new baggage claim carousel at Bellingham International Airport can accommodate three simultaneous flight arrivals.

Allegiant Air flies the 757s to Las Vegas and Hawaiian destinations. Alaska Airlines utilizes the 737 to serve Las Vegas and Hawaii as well. The Bombardier Q-400, made in Canada, is popular on shorter routes for its fuel efficiency, and is used by Alaska to connect Bellingham with SeaTac and Portland. The old baggage system, essentially a slide, was built when smaller planes served the airport with low frequency. With the addition of more flights by larger aircraft, the baggage upgrade was necessary to keep the airport’s capacity in line with demand.

The Digital Airport

Before the recent expansion work, there was minimal information available on departures and arrivals. Now, there are 96 flatscreen televisions displaying flight information and other news. Digital technology allows airlines to share workstations. The fully digitized gates and ticketing counters allow any airline to use any boarding gate or check-in desk. Airline staff simply log in to access their company’s computer network, and the airline’s logo and flight information is displayed on the screens above.

Complimentary WiFi is also available for passengers throughout the terminal.

Airport Departures

96 flatscreens display departures, arrivals and other news throughout Bellingham International Airport

Airport Gate

The Digital Airport. Any airline can use any gate at Bellingham International.

Canadian Travelers

A 2013 survey of 1000 passengers boarding airplanes at Bellingham International Airport found that 52% of those surveyed were Canadian residents. The Port of Bellingham’s Zenk added that there are 3.2 million people living within a 90 mile radius of BLI, many of them are Canadian. “We are more than happy to accommodate them” says the Port’s Emily Tuma, of British Columbia residents traveling out of BLI.

An Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 prepares for departure to Las Vegas. The BLI-LAS flights are popular with Whatcom County and British Columbia residents.

An Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 prepares for departure to Las Vegas. The BLI-LAS flights are popular with Whatcom County and British Columbia residents.

Canadian currency is not accepted for parking fees. The airport accepts US cash and major credit cards. Information about Canadian debit cards was not available as of press time; this post will be updated when more information is available.

Bellingham International Airport

An Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 prepares to taxi. Destination: Las Vegas McCarran International.

Although international airline service is not currently available at BLI, there are about 1,200 international general aviation (private) flights to the airport each year. The majority of these are private aircraft coming from Canada.

Local Contractors

The Port of Bellingham hired local contractors to complete the recent expansion work. Dawson Construction of Bellingham was the lead contractor. The Port’s Zenk noted that construction activity was held to about $1 Million dollars per month of work during the renovation, because that was the maximum scope that local contractors could accommodate. The Port was committed to hiring Whatcom County firms.

A behind-the-scenes look at the baggage conveyor system at Bellingham International Airport. Recent upgrades included a modernized baggage system, new boarding gate and expanded restaurant.

A behind-the-scenes look at the baggage conveyor system at Bellingham International Airport. Recent upgrades included a modernized baggage system, new boarding gate and expanded restaurant.

Tours

The public is invited to tour the newly renovated Bellingham International Airport terminal. Free tours will be offered on July 19, 2014 from 12:00 noon to 4:00 PM.

For more information about the tours, visit Bellingham International Airport’s website.

Trade Tips Blog is published by International Market Access, Inc.

International Market Access, Inc.
USA Business Identity, Warehousing and Fulfillment Services
Phone: 360-380-6900
Email: imawa@ucantrade.com

 


June 12th Cross-Border Expo Caters to Import, Export, Tourism and Real Estate Investment

By: Jim Pettinger

Visit the website at www.CrossBorderExpo.com for an updated list of exhibitors and valuable “Expo Door Prizes” from vendors, including Silver Reef Hotel Casino Spa, San Juan Airlines, Semiahmoo Resort Golf Spa, Pacific Customs Brokers and Puget Sound Energy. The 60+ exhibit tradeshow and trade seminars are FREE admission. Business-after-business networking at 5:30 will feature free hors d’oeuvres and no-host beverages. 

International Market Access, Inc., the Ferndale Chamber of Commerce and the Silver Reef Hotel Casino Spa present the second annual Cross-Border Expo on June 12th in Ferndale, Washington.

Cross-Border ExpoThe one-day event will showcase over 60 exhibitors and feature three educational sessions – Doing Business in the USA, Doing Business in Canada, and Cross-Border Real Estate Investment. Vendor exhibits will be housed in the new 10,000 sq. ft. “Event Center at Silver Reef”, and the seminars will be conducted in the adjoining state-of-the-art 150-seat theatre.

The Expo will attract both tourism and business visitors from British Columbia and Washington state for a one to five-day visit.

Tourists will be provided with a variety of suggested visits and tours courtesy of Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism, and investors will be provided with similar opportunities by local real estate and economic development representatives.

A few exhibit spaces are still available. The “tabletop” setup is simple to encourage networking. Visit the website or contact CBX@UcanTrade.com for information. Attendance at both the seminars and tradeshow is FREE (registration is suggested).

The June 12th tradeshow will be open from 2:00pm to 7:00pm, and will include a Multi-Chamber Business-After-Business Networking/Social in the spacious central portion of the room beginning at 5:30pm. Chambers of Commerce, Boards of Trade and other business associations from both sides of the border will be represented.

The June 12th trade and real estate seminars will run concurrently from 1:00pm to 4:15pm. Topics will include: Canada/USA Business Travel/Immigration; Business Planning and Taxation; Marketing and Distribution; Customs Clearance and Compliance; Real Estate Investment; and U.S. and Canadian Government Trade Services.

Sponsors, exhibitors and others will provide a variety of “Expo Specials” for visitors, including door prizes, discount coupons, and business tours and visits. Pre-registration for the free admission is requested and advised.

Event sponsors include the Silver Reef Hotel Casino Spa, Port of Bellingham, Wells Fargo, VSH CPAs, Print & Copy Factory, International Market Access Inc., Cascadia Cross-Border Law, US Bank, Pacific Customs Brokers, White Rock Courier LTD, KNV Chartered Accountants LLP, The Northern Light (media partner), and Business in Vancouver (media partner).

For information about exhibiting or attending, e-mail CBX@UcanTrade.com or visit www.CrossBorderExpo.com. The Social Media hashtag for the event is #CrossBorderExpo

Trade Tips Blog is published by International Market Access, Inc.

International Market Access, Inc.
USA Business Identity, Warehousing and Fulfillment Services
Phone: 360-380-6900
Email: imawa@ucantrade.com